AT&T, Sony team for Smart Label parcel tracking technology
Tracking requests for e-commerce packages are and other packages continue to increase. A recent SOTI Bricks to Clicks report found that last mile delivery remains the most inefficient part of the entire e-commerce supply chain for 59% of US transportation and logistics companies. Yet for the consumer, this element remains an essential part of the online shopping experience.
A survey of 6,000 consumers conducted by Arlington Research for the mobile technology platform SOTI during the fourth quarter of 2020 found that 67% of consumers said they wanted real-time visibility of the location of their Christmas gifts at from the moment the online order has been processed. Delivery delays of more than two days discouraged 38% of consumers, who said they would look elsewhere for the product in these cases.
These same demands are also seeping into the business-to-business market. While Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is able to accurately track most packages to the front porch, for most shipping companies – not just e-commerce brands – this level of visibility remains elusive or expensive. Sensors are an option, but even $ 1 added to the cost of tens of thousands of packages quickly adds up.
AT&T (NYSE: T) has unveiled a new solution that it believes can solve this problem.
The company, together with Sony Semiconductor Israel (Sony), has launched a Smart Label that leverages Internet of Things (IoT) technology to track every package anywhere on the planet. The label features technology that, when affixed to the package, enables tracking and other surveillance capabilities.
The Smart Label connects to AT & T’s secure LTE-M cellular network and sends data to the Smart Label cloud, powered by Sony’s cloud gateway, to enable decision making and tracking while packages are in transit. AT & T’s IoT Professional Services organization is able to support the entire process, from design and integration to ongoing project deployment and management.
“Every major end product company in the world is looking for complete functional and technical solutions to solve one of the main use cases: real-time channel inventory. “The smart label indicates how much product is on the market, from the packaging line to the end customer,” said Christof Backhaus, digital product sourcing manager and Smart Label project manager at Bayer. “Due to the technical makeup, we don’t need additional infrastructure, manual scanning or other expensive tools.”
Bayer Crop Science Division approached AT&T and Sony for the project, looking for a way to track its agricultural seed products once they entered distribution channels.
“We are proud to take a leadership position in the digital supply chain revolution with a disruptive solution, using Sony’s Altair low-power cellular IoT technology based on its ALT1250 chipset,” said Aviv Castro, vice president of Business Development, who heads the Smart Label Activity at Sony Semiconductor Israel. “We created this solution in partnership with leading innovative producers of flexible electronics and printable batteries – increasing end-to-end transparency in the supply chain and making actionable decisions possible with massive amounts of data.
According to AT&T, the smart tag has functionality in almost any business where tracking and monitoring the location and status of shipments is essential. This includes manufacturing, raw materials, consumer products, cars and trucks, logistics, electronics, pharmaceuticals, retail, health care, food and agriculture. Tags can help monitor temperatures, weathering, and movement.
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“Together with Sony, we provide complete visibility of every item shipped through the integrated end-to-end IoT Smart Label solution,” said Robert Boyanovsky, vice president of mobility, IoT and 5G for AT&T . “Smart Label promises to help companies like Bayer realize the full potential of IoT and global tracking to improve revenues and cost savings and make their supply chains more efficient. Our sales team is ready to interact with potential customers now. “
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